Gerry Rogers Question Period (05.16.2012)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Member for St. John’s Centre.

MS ROGERS: Mr. Speaker, in their 2008 Throne Speech, government committed to introduce whistleblower protection legislation that same year after appropriate consultation had taken place. Here we are, four years later, with no whistleblower protection legislation in sight.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the Premier: Will she honour the concrete promise that was made so long ago?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Justice and Attorney General.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. F. COLLINS: Finally, Mr. Speaker, we get the question on whistleblower legislation. I was waiting all session for it.

Mr. Speaker, my answer in the past to that question has been that we were monitoring jurisdictions across the country and elsewhere in the world with respect to best practices and experiences with new legislation, because whistleblower legislation is relatively new in most jurisdictions. Mr. Speaker, the results we found have not been encouraging but let me say this to you: the federal whistleblower legislation which is the one all the other legislations in the country are mirrored on, it has been in effect since 2007, there have been 228 complaints, nine investigations, no findings of misconduct. It is called a toothless piece of legislation all –

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John’s Centre.

MS ROGERS: Well, Mr. Speaker, I assume that monitoring must be some comprehensive, because it is taking a long time.

Mr. Speaker, government still has not included gender identity as a prohibitive ground for discrimination in the Province’s Human Rights Act. In Estimates we learned government will not add this because it is confusing. Mr. Speaker, what is confusing is why government will not protect the human rights of a group, trans-gendered individuals who are more bullied than any other group in schools and society.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the Minister of Justice: Will he add gender identity to the act to protect one of the most vulnerable groups in our Province?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Justice and Attorney General.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. F. COLLINS: Mr. Speaker, we have brought in one of the most progressive pieces of human rights legislation in this country.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. F. COLLINS: It will set the model for this Province, and set the future of this Province in human rights for the next twenty-five years.

Mr. Speaker, when we discuss gender identity in preparation for that legislation we had numerous definitions of gender and confusing input from all angles that we could not arrive at any kind of a sensible conclusion as how to include gender identity in the act. All our advice, Mr. Speaker, was to leave it out at that period in time.

All discrimination under that issue is adamantly covered under the sex discrimination of the act.

Associated Caucus Members: 

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